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2 Interview Questions To Test If Job Candidates Have Emotional Intelligence

Source | Forbes : By Mark Murphy

Forty-six percent of new employees will fail within 18 months of hire. Eighty-nine percent of the time it’s for attitude, and low emotional intelligence ranks second in why they fail.

People low in emotional intelligence don’t understand or know how to manage their own emotions. And they don’t know how to read emotions in others. We see this in employees who struggle to deal with stress, overcome obstacles and resolve conflict, or who fail to meet the needs of coworkers and customers, are negative, blamers, entitled, procrastinators, change resistors, overly sensitive or drama kings and queens. And that’s just for starters.

You’ve got limited time when interviewing candidates and it isn’t easy to assess emotional intelligence. But with a good interview question or two and the knowledge of what good and bad responses sound like, you can identify whether someone can move past negative feelings including anger, doubt and anxiety, or if they are generally flexible, optimistic, confident, empathic, congenial and more.

Interestingly, not all jobs require the same levels of emotional intelligence. Research shows that in certain jobs, having higher emotional intelligence is actually correlated with lower job performance. The determining factor in whether emotional intelligence is positively or negatively related to job performance is called “emotional labor.” You can actually test this for yourself in the online quiz “Does Your Job Require High Or Low Emotional Intelligence?”

Here are two interview questions to test emotional intelligence along with some real-life responses the questions generated. These questions work to reveal the truth about emotional intelligence because they are structured as non-leading and open-ended behavioral questions.

Question No. 1: Could you tell me about a time you made a mistake at work?

You won’t hear people low in emotional intelligence take much accountability for their mistakes. The people you want to hire know that it’s OK to make mistakes as long as they acknowledge the error, make corrections, help others to avoid making similar errors and move on. It should be easy to differentiate the good answer from the bad answer in the following real-life responses:

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